There's a difference between that feeling of joy as you walk out of work on a Friday afternoon and the feeling of true happiness.
Pleasurable feelings come and go, but genuine happiness is both natural and unplanned.
Everyone experiences significant moments of happiness at times.
Maybe you got a raise or won a race — and if you could bottle and sell the euphoric feeling of falling in love, you'd be a millionaire.
During these situations, you might truly believe that sustained happiness comes from these exterior events.
Since the mind relaxes during these experiences, it gives you a mistaken sense of relief. You have achieved your goal, so you briefly stop obsessing over it.
With a quiet mind, you experience intense satisfaction and may believe that happiness is the result of these outside sources.
But by this way of thinking, you become insatiable as happiness is dependent on the next “hit” of a positive experience. You may have learned that this false thinking leads to pain, attachments, suffering, and denial.
The reality of happiness is knowing that you can feel this pleasure whenever you want, without having to fulfill outside desires. You can achieve happiness because it is inside you, not outside.
What is True Happiness in a Relationship?
How does this translate to your relationships with other people?
If you are truly happy in a relationship, you will enjoy being in that person's presence without longing for your partner to change or be someone or something he or she isn't.
You can be happy with yourself as an individual without believing you need your partner to “complete” you.
You both can be authentic and open with one another, enjoying both your similarities and your differences and respecting one another because of all of these.
You can communicate openly and honestly without fear or anxiety and work out your differences in a healthy and productive way.
Examples of True Happiness
Genuine happiness can look like a lot of things.
Maybe you are able to savor a rainy day, or you can stay centered during a traffic jam seeing it as a moment for reflection.
Being grateful for the things that you have and focusing on the present moment are also really important elements of genuine happiness.
According to happiness expert and researcher, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, in her book, The How of Happiness, there are twelve strategies that can lead you to true happiness:
- Counting your blessings and expressing gratitude.
- Cultivating optimism by trying to look on the bright side of situations.
- Avoiding overthinking and social comparisons.
- Practicing acts of kindness with others.
- Nurturing your relationships and investing time in them.
- Doing more activities that are engaging to you.
- Replaying and savoring the joys in life.
- Defining your goals and committing to them.
- Developing coping strategies.
- Practicing your religion or spirituality.
- Taking care of your body.
Let's explore how YOU can find this kind of happiness and live your best life.
27 Of The Best Ways To Find True Happiness
1. Accept Yourself
You have to be okay with who you are in order to find happiness.
Accept your flaws, let go of insecurities, and be proud of your idiosyncrasies.
Being able to accept yourself as you are is the best incentive to work harder at living a better life.
2. Be Conscious
You're more likely to be happy when you have your priorities straight, and you can see the truth about other people and things.
Be conscious of your surroundings and your present situation.
Related Post: How to Love Yourself: 26 Ways to Cultivate Self-Worth
Let go of the idea of finding a quick solution to a complex problem. Become more conscious of limited thinking that holds you back from taking action to solve issues that come up in your life.
3. Be Authentic
There is only one real you. You are unique in your passions, gifts, and values.
If you don't show your true self to the world, or you are living in a way that does not feel right to you, your happiness levels will suffer.
Being inauthentic is a way of denying your true self.
4. Be Kind
Opening your heart to other people's needs will fill your heart in return.
When you give freely to others, you will feel happy and fulfilled.
Be kind to everyone you meet, no matter the role they play in your life or how often you see them. You can never go wrong with kindness.
5. Be Patient
If you insist on immediate gratification in all things, you will feel constant stress and anxiety.
But if you can wait and trust the process, you'll be more likely to get a better outcome and be happier.
Slow down and allow things to evolve without forcing them.
6. Be Free
Let go of anything in your life that isn't helpful to you or is causing you some kind of pain.
If you become attached to hurtful people or false beliefs, you will never be happy.
Be as free from negativity as possible and choose to hold onto the things that bring you joy.
7. Be Giving
When you give without expecting something in return, you will be as fulfilled as the receiver of the gift.
You don't have to give away a lot — even a simple silent blessing in your heart, some words of support for someone who you know is going through a hard time, or a helping hand for a friend is enough to make a huge difference.
Generosity of spirit, word, deed, and money is a soul-satisfying quality to embrace.
8. Create Balance
Maintain balance in your attitude and life, allowing for challenging times as well as for fun.
You work and play. You labor and rest. You create time to nurture yourself so you can recharge for the serious business of life.
Related Post: 50 Self-Care Ideas for Stressed-Out People Pleasers
When you live a life of harmony, happiness is possible.
9. Find Meaning
Chasing after money or fame will only lead to a meaningless existence.
Things such as these are fleeting and will never provide sustained contentment and joy.
However, finding meaning in your life and work that allows you to feel fulfilled will lead to happiness. Your contributions to your family, community, and the world will be your legacy.
10. Be Still
While it may seem like everyone needs to be busy all the time, people are actually overwhelmed and exhausted.
You need to spend some time in stillness and silence and allow your mind and body to rest, replenish, and renew itself. Meditation is a great way to accomplish this.
11. Have a Purpose
Leading an aimless life is empty and leads to feelings of alienation.
Knowing your life's purpose will give you focus and direction. When you have something to live for, a purpose for your life, you will be motivated and inspired.
Happiness will naturally follow once you know your “why.”
12. Build Connections
The quality of your relationships with other people makes a huge difference in your happiness.
Healthy attachments will give you a reassuring sense of belonging.
Having connections with other people is truly important, but the most important connection to have is the one for yourself.
13. Find Your Flow
When you can get completely lost in something you love and that is a bit challenging, you are experiencing flow. Time stands still, and you are completely absorbed in the task at hand.
This could be any hobby such as reading, writing, cooking, running, or painting or a work project or task.
Whenever you are able to lose yourself in something that you love, you are able to create a space to find yourself and your essential nature.
14. Get Creative
Creating new things and ideas, solving problems, and being laser-focused on something are all things that are important when you are looking for true happiness.
Find your own sense of creativity, which can look completely different to you than it does to someone else. You can apply creative thinking to everything you do.
15. Be Committed
When you are fully committed to something, it means that you're completely invested in it, and you are able to gain the most satisfaction from it.
Whether it's a project, a book, a long-term goal, or anything else that requires a commitment, having the ability to apply yourself to something for a sustained period can generate genuine happiness.
The effort and practice of accomplishing something bring more satisfaction than finally achieving it.
16. Be Grateful
Having gratitude is such a great shortcut to genuine happiness.
Gratitude turns everything that you have into enough, and it trains your brain to pay attention to the beauty that is around you.
Being thankful for the small and simple joys and all of the goodness surrounding you will help fill you up with satisfactory feelings of pleasure, which will then attract more good things.
Spend as much time as you can being appreciative of the things around you.
17. Be Present
A lot of people spend their time living in the past or in the future.
However, failing to live in the present means that you are willing to let your life simply pass you by.
We are no longer connecting intimately with our lives by being fully engaged.
Instead of noticing the warm morning sun, we are worried about a deadline for the afternoon. Rather than savoring our meals, we eat quickly without noticing what we are feeding our bodies.
Try to connect with the present moment throughout the day to make your days feel longer and more enjoyable.
18. Embrace Wholeness
Happiness is a byproduct of the way you treat your body, mind, soul, and emotions. Integrating all of these so that they support your well-being is a necessary goal for a happy life.
When these elements work together, you attain a sense of inner peace and integrity which naturally leads to a deep contentment and state of bliss.
19. Focus on Mastery
Tackling challenges head-on with determination to be the best you can be will provide you with real happiness.
Related Post: 10 Transformative Benefits of Gratitude
Learning new skills, moving past obstacles and achieving your goals will all lead to a huge sense of accomplishment, pride, and confidence.
The most proficient you become at something, the easier and more satisfying it will be.
20. Make Time for Fun and Play
Being able to engage in playful activities can enhance the happiness of your life.
Any time you get the chance to let yourself go and be silly or explore, you will be able to release your concerns for a moment in time and just be happy.
21. Embrace New Perspectives
Being able to make a shift in your perspective about either a person, belief, or a situation can make a positive change in your life.
When you stop feeling fearful and feel confident in testing your outlook, you will make many exciting new discoveries.
If you stop holding a grudge to become more forgiving, you also practice a shift in perspective that allows you to be content and live with a sense of inner peace.
22. Trust Yourself
If you feel unsafe, anxious, or insecure, you will not be able to enjoy true happiness.
You have to learn to trust yourself and know that you can deal effectively with life's curveballs.
Trusting yourself will give you the sense of security that you need to be happy.
23. Be Curious and Keep Learning
Having curiosity curious about people, things, and the world around you will help you become engaged more deeply with life, and it will lead you to lifelong experiences of learning and growth.
Your mind is your constant source of wonder that can lead to enrichment, stimulation, and adventure. Take advantage of your mental gifts of curiosity, creativity, and cognition.
24. Remain Practically Optimistic
Maintaining a positive attitude is so important in the quest for genuine happiness.
However, holding on to false hope will lead to frustration. It is best to have an optimistic outlook on life coupled with a realistic attitude in order to achieve genuine happiness.
24. Have a Sense of Passion
The more you put into life, the more you will get out of it.
If you are able to live a passionate life— whether that is about your family, your career, or a particular strength that you have– life will have more riches to give you in return. Giving something all of your heart will certainly make you happy.
26. Take Personal Responsibility
When you are able to accept responsibility for your own healing, satisfaction, and success, and refuse to tolerate any kind of scorn or disrespect, genuine happiness will find you.
If you are willing to stop trying to please other people or become a perfectionist and acknowledge your accomplishments instead, happiness will be natural.
27. Stop Looking and Start Living
The real secret to true happiness is to simply stop looking for it, and start living your life instead. Enjoy each moment, even the most simple and commonplace.
Accept both the good and bad in life, recognizing that life is always changing from one to the other. Seek out lessons from the challenges even as you savor the good times.
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The very things that everyone seeks in life — happiness, purpose, and peace — are actually with you right now. You will feel the happiest when you are able to truly get to know who you are and the things that you are grateful for in your life.